It receives consistent sunlight all year round
Because of its proximity to the equator, Colombia receives consistent sunlight all year long. That’s not to say it doesn’t rain (its lush foliage is proof that it receives more than its fair share of precipitation), but you can expect at least some measure of sunshine 365 days a year. This, combined with its spectacular Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, makes it an absolute paradise for beach lovers.
It has coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea
Colombia has a lot of coastline, and a lot of coastline means many, many beaches (Colombia has 994 miles of coastline on the Caribbean Sea alone). The charming colonial city of Santa Marta was named one of the “Top 10 Sun & Beach Destinations in South America” by TripAdvisor, and from here you can access great coral reefs, seafood, scuba diving, waterskiing and more.
It’s one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world
Often touted as one of the most diverse countries in the world, Colombia alone accounts for 10% of the world’s biodiversity. It is home to the biggest variety of endemic bird species, as well as an impressive array of plants, fish and amphibians. As a result, Colombia’s whale watching and bird watching are among the best in the world. To further highlight this unique beauty, there are several breathtaking national parks (31 of which are open to tourists) like the celebrated Tayrona National Natural Park in the stunning Sierra Nevada mountain range.
It produces over 10% of the world’s coffee
Falling just behind Brazil in coffee production, Colombia’s 2.2 million acres of highlands make it a coffee growing paradise and a haven for rural and agricultural tourism. In Colombia, coffee is more than just coffee—it’s a way of life and the livelihood of more than 500,000 growers. There are festivals, fairs, crafts and cuisine that all speak to the strength of coffee heritage and folklore. Savouring a cup (or many) of their smooth, famous blends at one of the many coffee farms is an absolutely must. Many coffee farms also offer accommodations to round out the experience with hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and more.
It’s home to the world’s biggest salsa festival
Over 5,000 dancers reign over the passion-filled city of Cali during the World Salsa Festival held in Colombia every August. There are dance workshops and opportunities to chat with champion dancers in addition to the entrancing concerts put on by Cali’s world famous performers. Other notable festivals in Colombia include the International Film Festival in Cartagena (the oldest of its kind in Latin America) and the Manizales Fair—a seven-day National Cultural Heritage event that celebrates the Colombian coffee culture.
It has the world’s biggest collection of gold
There are a range of museums that display a host of noteworthy collections all over the country, and the city of Cartagena has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site—only a couple of the markers that distinguish Colombia as an incredibly rich cultural destination. One of the most notable museums is the Gold Museum in Bogota which houses nearly 34,000 pieces of gold, many of which belong to pre-Columbian cultures.
It’s home to the first UNESCO city of gastronomy
Regional diversity, sweeping geography and multiculturalism come together to craft an incredible gastronomic scene in Colombia. Famous dishes range across the country and some of Colombia’s more popular dishes include sancocho (a firewood-cooked stew made from varying ingredients), arepas (ground maize flatbread) and flavoured shaved ice. In 2005, the town of Popayán was named the first ever UNESCO city of gastronomy to celebrate its effortless fusion of Spanish and indigenous influences in its rich traditional dishes.